Mercator Multilingualism Lecture by Jean-Marc Dewaele (Birkbeck, UK)

We are delighted to announce that this year's Mercator Multilingualism Lecture will be given by Prof Jean-Marc Dewaele (Birkbeck, University of London). On November 22, 2022, Dewaele will talk about 'Learners' experience of flow in foreign language classrooms' (abstract below). The lecture will take place online (via Zoom), allowing anyone in the world to participate. Attendance is free, but we kindly ask you to register before the 15th of November.


Date: Tuesday 22 November, 2022
Place: Online (ZOOM)
Time: 16:00-17:00 hrs CET
Language: English
Register: Via Mercator/ZOOM
Flyer (pdf): English / Frisian


About the speaker

Jean-Marc Dewaele is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism at Birkbeck, University of London (UK). He is the general editor of the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, the president of the International Association for the Psychology of Language Learning, and – amongst many other accolades – the recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award (2022) from the European Second Language Association.



Jean-Marc Dewaele - 'Learners' experience of flow in foreign language classrooms'

The concept of flow was introduced by Positive Psychologist (Csíkszentmihályi, 1990) and refers to a consciousness that is harmoniously ordered where thoughts, actions, and emotions become well-coordinated in performing a challenging task. Despite a growing interest in foreign language learner emotions that started with Dewaele and MacIntyre (2014), the topic of flow is still under-researched in applied linguistic research. Flow matters because it is addictive and has strong motivational qualities (Piniel & Albert, 2019; Dewaele, Saito & Halimi, 2022).

This presentation will give an overview of the latest research on foreign language learners’ flow experiences, showing how they increase in frequency and intensity over time and how they are shaped by positive and negative emotions and by teacher intervention (Dewaele & MacIntyre, 2022a; Dewaele & MacIntyre, 2022b). Flow is particularly important in foreign language classes because it helps learners overcome their self-consciousness and anxiety.



Csíkszentmihályi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. Harper Collins.

Dewaele, J.-M., Kamal Ahmed, I., & Albakistani, A. 2022). Is flow possible in the Emergency Remote Teaching foreign language classroom? Education Sciences,

Dewaele, J.-M. & MacIntyre, P. D. (2014). The two faces of Janus? Anxiety and Enjoyment in the Foreign Language Classroom. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 4(2), 237-274.

Dewaele, J.-M., & MacIntyre, P. D. (2022a). “You can't start a fire without a spark”. Enjoyment and the Emergence of Flow in Foreign Language Classrooms. Applied Linguistics Review. 

Dewaele, J.-M., & MacIntyre, P. D. (2022b). Do Flow, Enjoyment and Anxiety emerge equally in English Foreign Language Classrooms as in other Foreign Language Classrooms? Revista Brasileira de Linguística Aplicada, 22(1), 156-180. 

Dewaele, J.-M., Saito, K., & Halimi, F. (2022) How Foreign Language Enjoyment acts as a buoy for sagging motivation: A longitudinal investigation. Applied Linguistics.

Piniel, K. & Albert, A. (2019). Motivation and Flow. In M. Lamb, K. Csizér, Henry, A., & S. Ryan (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Motivation for Language Learning (pp. 579-597). Palgrave Macmillan.